• The Low Down

Backlog puts refugees in limbo

The Editor,


In light of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, many Canadians have been calling on the government to lift visa requirements and otherwise pave the way for Ukrainians to come to Canada.


Like many of you, I’m looking for ways to help the people of Ukraine, but am also painfully aware of the huge backlog of refugees hoping to find a home in Canada. I have been working on resettling a Syrian refugee family in Canada for almost five years. Two-and-a-half years ago, we were officially accepted into Canada’s sponsorship program and the family was finally interviewed by IRCC on March 1, 2021.


They should be settling into a new life in Canada by now, but we haven’t heard a word from IRCC in over a year. Last summer I corresponded with a staffer in Will Amos’s office, who submitted a request for information to IRCC on our behalf.


I never heard anything back and my follow-up emails went unanswered.


I tried again with Sophie Chatel’s office, where I corresponded with the same staffer, and got exactly the same result.


Meanwhile, my sponsored family sits in limbo year after year, unable to go home and not knowing if their future lies in Canada.


My heart breaks for the people of Ukraine, but I’d like to see the government working to wrap up some of the files that have been collecting dust on its desks for years.


Heidi Honegger

Chelsea, QC